A Queen Palm was demolished earlier today when a car westbound on Lake Park skidded out of control. This is not an emergency since he tree has already been removed.
While I the hope the driver wasn't seriously injured, this incident raises two distinct issues:
#1: This was the third of the Queen Palms that were installed in 2003 as part of the Splash Pad project that were destroyed by out of control vehicles. On the first two occasions, as far as I know, no efforts were made by the city to sue for damages that would be used to plant replacement palms. An established Queen Palm this size is going to run about $600 -$700 and delivery and installation will double that price. Since the Public Works Department is extremely short-staffed and lacking in funds, this latest palm is not going to be replaced unless the driver's insurance company foots the bill. As we all know, the city is being sued constantly--often for far less clear-cut reasons. How about us trying to level the playing field?
#2: There have been numerous accidents on this short stretch of Lake Park -- typically cars speeding as they come off the freeway and/or speeding up to try and make the green light on Grand. The palm in the median across from KFC was destroyed several years ago and not replaced. The one today was across from Chao Thai. Another three palms in that median are heavily scarred from earlier accidents. I'd strongly suggest that Traffic Engineering look into installation of signs that warn of a curve ahead and/or 25mph speed limit signs or whatever else may do the trick.